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Saturday 18th January 2020

Details revealed for first Saturday Night Takeaway without Ant McPartlin

Dec will be hosting the last two episodes solo

Declan Donnelly will be joined by Paloma Faith and Stephen Merchant when Saturday Night Takeaway returns in two weeks' time.

The programme has been cancelled this weekend following Ant McPartlin's three-car collision on Sunday, which led to him being charged with drink-driving.

It will return on Saturday, March 31 with Dec hosting solo.

Ant will not take part in the final Saturday Night Takeaway episodes of the series (Credit: ITV)

Popstar and former The Voice coach Paloma will perform the End Of The Show Show, while actor Stephen will be on hand as the Star Guest Announcer.

Read more: Gary Barlow says "everyone just wants the best" for Ant McPartlin

The Script will take part in The Singalong Live!

Stephen Mulhern's In For A Penny, In For A Grand will also be part of the episode, along with the usual Win The Ads feature.

The Saturday Night Takeaway team: Ant, Scarlett Moffatt, Dec and Stephen Mulhern (Credit: ITV)

The final episode of the series will be broadcast from Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, where Dec will be joined by lucky competition winners who will be flown over to the US for a holiday and to watch the show.

Dec announced this week he would be hosting the last two Saturday Night Takeaways without Ant.

In a statement, Dec said: "Whilst I never thought I'd be in this position, after much discussion and careful consideration we've decided that the remaining two shows of this series of Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead."

Whilst I never thought I'd be in this position, after much discussion and careful consideration we've decided that the remaining two shows of this series of Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead.

"We made a promise to take hundreds of deserving winners to Florida to watch the series finale, and we will honour that.

"Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series."

He signed off: "Dec x."

Dec issued a statement on Wednesday (Credit: Twitter)

A similar statement issued by ITV confirmed that Dec will present the final two Saturday Night Takeaway episodes without Ant.

It read: "ITV can confirm that Saturday Night Takeaway, presented by Declan Donnelly, will return on March 31, and the series finale will be taking place at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida a week later."

Ant, 42, has returned to treatment and stepped down from current TV work following his arrest in Richmond, London on Sunday.

His publicist said in a statement: "Ant has decided to go back into treatment and step down from his current TV commitments. He has spoken with Dec and ITV today and asked for time off for the foreseeable future."

Ant checked into rehab last year for an addiction to prescription painkillers, brought on by a painful knee operation.

This weekend's Saturday Night Takeaway has been cancelled (Credit: ITV)

Fans have been sending support to Dec ahead of next week's Saturday Night Takeaway, which will mark the first time he has hosted without his best friend and TV partner.

One wrote on Twitter: "YOU HAVE GOT THIS. You may be standing alone but we are behind you, in front of you and beside you. your fans will carry you and we know you will do nothing but your best and we love you for it. as we always have and always will. Good luck Dec."

Another said: "Can I say Dec all the best of luck in the world... such a difficult place to be in, but you know you have to look after yourself too... I know you can do this."

A third added: "Much respect to you Dec. I know it's hard, I understand. It's a horrible position to be in. Good luck and keep well. I';l be watching Saturday. Chin up... stand up guy."

It is unclear when Ant may return to TV.

He and Dec have already filmed the auditions stages of Britain's Got Talent, which usually starts airing in April, but it's unknown whether he will return for the live shows.

Their third programme, I'm A Celebrity, airs in November.

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